The start of 1887 in Realitos saw the continuation of a building boom. The town was seen as growing into an important rail station. Among the businesses in town were three stores, three hotels and restaurants; two meat markets; and two barber shops, where one could get hair powdered “ala mode Americano.” F. Cadena and company of Concepcion was also mulling over moving their general merchandise store to Realitos and would do so by year’s end.
Ed Corkill, who the newspaper referred to as “the Hidalgo of the Mexicans,” directed the establishment of a public well. Many Realitos residents gave money and volunteered labor for the project. Water was found at 60 feet. The volunteers also cut and cleared all stumps and brush out of city limits. Also, completed was a dancing pavilion.
Not all was going well, however; the public school had to be closed due to a lack of funds. The teacher, Miss Rogers, returned to Corpus Christi.
P. Staples was named the new justice of the peace and postmaster in Realitos. Mr. Pugh, a young man from San Diego, was the new telegraph operator in town.
F. M. Rowe of San Antonio successfully installed horse power pumping machines on Bob Savage’s new well in Santa Latorina Pasture. Savage had been trying for three years to get water in his pasture. W. N. Staples and son finished baling hay from a pasture they had been working since the previous October.
Savage sold mercantile business to Staples. Reuben and Jeff Vining returned to Realotis after being off with horse stock for months. Stock looked good in spite of a recent drought. James Gibson of San Antonio was in town looking for fat stock. He reported there was plenty of stock in San Antonio but all was in poor condition and was selling for low prices. E. Corkill was rounding up cattle to drive up to the Indian Territory.
J. Corkill and Fyre Burke returned from stock trip to Beeville. Preparation was underway for shearing, and sheepmen were expecting the largest wool cut.
The Corpus Christi Caller reported the “American population” was getting ready to observe San Jacinto Day, “as all true Texans should.” A few months later, the newspaper also reported that the “Aztecs” were getting ready to celebrate “Saint Juan’s Day.” Residents expected to enjoy horse racing, cock fighting, and other pleasures on festival day.
By the end of the year, the public school had reopened and was making progress. Miss Laura Modd was the teacher, and she had 30 students.
Forrest L. Clark’s book Crosswinds of Duval County focuses much of its content on Realitos. You can get a copy of the book here: